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An Econometric Analysis of the Mental-Health Effects of Major Events in the Life of Elderly Individuals

  • Lindeboom, Maarten


    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Portrait, France


    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.


    (University of Mannheim)

Major events in the life of an elderly individual, such as retirement, a significant decrease in income, death of the spouse, disability, and a move to a nursing home, may affect the mental health status of the individual. For example, the individual may enter a prolonged depression. We investigate this using unique longitudinal panel data that track labor market behavior, health status, and major life events, over time. To deal with endogenous aspects of these events we apply fixed effects estimation methods. We find some strikingly large effects of certain events on the occurrence of depression. We show that the results are of importance for the design of health care and labor market policy towards the elderly.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 398.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Health Economics, 2002, 11 (6), 505-520
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp398
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  1. Gloria J. Bazzoli, 1985. "The Early Retirement Decision: New Empirical Evidence on the Influence of Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(2), pages 214-234.
  2. Anne Case, 2001. "Does Money Protect Health Status? Evidence from South African Pensions," Working Papers 205, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  3. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
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  5. Hausman, Jerry A & Wise, David A, 1979. "Attrition Bias in Experimental and Panel Data: The Gary Income Maintenance Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 455-73, March.
  6. Ecob, Russell & Davey Smith, George, 1999. "Income and health: what is the nature of the relationship?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 693-705, March.
  7. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
  8. Benzeval, Michaela & Judge, Ken, 2001. "Income and health: the time dimension," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(9), pages 1371-1390, May.
  9. Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom, 1998. "Attrition in Panel Survey Data and the Estimation of Multi-State Labor Market Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 458-478.
  10. Marcel Kerkhofs & Maarten Lindeboom, 1997. "Age related health dynamics and changes in labour market status," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 407-423.
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